Universal Credit has now been rolled out across the country and is in operation in all areas for new benefit claimants of working age.

Universal Credit (UC) is for people who are in or out of work. You may qualify if you have a low to moderate income, whether in work (regardless of how many hours), or out of work because you are seeking work, a carer, or too ill to work.

It is a means-tested benefit – so entitlement depends on your income, savings and personal circumstances.

It is replacing 6 means-tested benefits (often referred to as legacy benefits):

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income Support

The Government plans to move all people receiving any of the above benefits to UC by the end of 2023. This is currently being trialled in Harrogate during a ‘test and learn’ period until July 2020. This is to resolve problems identified to date before it is fully rolled out to the whole country. No further timetable is currently available to say when other areas will be affected.

Many of our tenants already receive UC, if they made a new benefit claim or had a change of circumstances e.g. starting a new tenancy.

UC is paid monthly in arrears into your bank account. You are paid on the same date every month. Your payment includes money to help you pay your rent. You will need to arrange to pay your rent yourself.

If you currently receive one of the legacy benefits above and you have a change of circumstances, you may need to apply for UC.

If this is happens to you and you need some advice, please contact us.

There are still some exceptions when claimants will not need to apply for UC and can remain on legacy benefits. If you have the Severe Disability Premium included in your Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Housing Benefit you are protected until January 2021.

For more information about Universal credit please visit the following websites:

Understanding Universal credit website (opens in new tab)

Money Advice Service (opens in new tab)

Our Financial Inclusion Team can support you with any queries you have regarding UC and other benefits. You can contact them on 03333 204555.

If you need additional information from trusted local services about a wide range of local health and community services, please check with your local council.

Correct as at Oct 2019